Are Fat People Naturally Stronger Than Lean People? Why?

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Plenty of prejudices surround fat people, and most of them are negative—one of the positive ones used to be the perception of strength.

Everyone expects that the fat bald guy with a beard is actually hiding some secret woodsman strength.

This is at odds with the social media culture of pushing lean and well-defined physiques as the epitome of manliness.

So what is actually true? Are fat people stronger? It turns out to be quite a complicated question.

Overweight people are stronger because they carry more weight, which results in natural muscle growth. They also consume more food, which is the source of human strength. However, because they already carry so much weight, their net strength can be lower, rendering them incapable of lifting extra weight.

In this article, we will explore the different types of strength and explore how fat individuals fare against lean ones in each category. We will also discuss a method to find out if a fat person is the strong kind of fat or the unhealthy kind. So, let’s get started.

Leg Strength

When discussing fat individuals’ strength, it is crucial to start with the legs because they do more work than the average individual. That’s because their legs carry more weight than someone who weighs less.

More importantly, fat people’s legs work out 24/7, giving them incredible strength and a tremendous recovery rate.

In gym lingo, recovery rate refers to how fast one’s muscles recover from being torn apart by weight lifting. Yes, your muscle fibers literally tear under the weight and then get rebuilt much more robust and bigger, which results in muscle growth among bodybuilders.

Fat people’s legs go through this cycle every day and get around 8 to 10 hours of rest when they sleep. All in all, this makes fat people stronger in leg strength than many gym-goers.

Upper Body Strength

fat people stronger

In a Strong Man competition, it is impossible to miss that not even a single participant flipping tires and pulling cars has a flat core. Every strong man competitor, without exception, has a gut because, to have a solid upper body, you need to consume enough protein and natural foods to have a heavy waist.

But does that mean that every fat man has higher upper body strength?

Surprisingly, yes.

With the exception of bodybuilders, the average fat person has more upper body strength than the average slim guy.

Think of it this way: bodybuilders and strongman competitors are in a league of their own. And average fat guys and slim individuals are in a different league.

So what happens in the athletic tier?

Strong Man competitors (fat athletes) have more upper body strength than bodybuilders (leaner athletes). The same translates (with much less strength) to the non-athletic tier. The average fat man can beat the average thin guy in upper-body strength.

Net Strength In Obese People

The reason you even need to ask the question about the validity of fat people’s strength is that superior muscle strength does not translate to general perception. This is mainly because of low net strength.

Imagine two identical people with equal strength: One of them is carrying a 20 lbs weight while the other isn’t.

Who is more likely able to carry another 30 lbs?

Obviously, the one who isn’t carrying anything. Why? Because despite having equal strength, the one carrying 20 lbs already has lower net strength.

Fat people can have low net strength because they’re carrying the weight of their fat, which can reduce the weight they can lift aside from what they have already put on. This happens when the obese person has low muscle mass and a high fat percentage. If someone has more muscle mass and a layer of fat over it, he has high net strength.

It is impossible to judge someone’s net strength until you see them in action or get their body fat percentage calculated.

You can have your own personal fat percentage or lean body mass tested at most gyms or health centers. Or, if you’d prefer, you can make do with a high-capacity smart scale to track your body fat.

These readings can also help you decide how to adjust your diet in order to be your healthy best regardless of your figure.

Above all, it gives you irrefutable proof of health, fitness, and strength that can be used to counter judgemental people who dispense unsolicited advice. The product has over 6800 reviews and ratings on Amazon and has a global average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars. Accuracy and ease of use are among its highest-rated features.

Stamina Potential

It’s important to note that strength itself isn’t the be-all-end-all.


Because, in most situations where strength is needed, you need it for an extended period.

After all, what good is lifting 40 lbs if you cannot carry something from point A to B?

What good is fighting strength if you cannot throw more than one punch?

The bottom line is that stamina matters.

Unfortunately, fat people suffer in this area. While they have high muscle strength, their lower net strength, and low stamina can disadvantage them when lifting items or trying to fight someone.

Fat people have great potential for stamina, but they need to do aerobic exercises to build it.

Mass Over Tact – Martial Arts & Fighting As A Fat Person

Finally, a word on fighting.

In fights, the strongest doesn’t always win. Kung-fu movies in the past and mixed martial arts competitions in the present have built up the importance of ‘moves’ in a fight. For better or worse, mass almost always beats tact. That is why there are weight classes in every fighting sport.

It doesn’t matter how precise someone’s karate chop is if you can render them unable to breathe by sitting on their chest. Even fat individuals with low muscle mass can beat leaner people (including some martial artists) by relying on their weight. The best martial art to learn as a fat person is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Recap: Are Fat People Stronger than Non-Fat People?

Fat people are at an advantage in almost every area except stamina when it comes to strength.

By lifting weights and doing aerobic exercises, you can build your stamina and improve your muscle mass to best use your figure’s natural strength advantage.

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